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Public perception of police improves drastically during Covid-19 outbreak

The nett trust factor for police zoomed up from merely 1.5 per cent to a massive 61.8 per cent at all national levels.

IANS | New Delhi |

The ensuing sense of disruption and fear as a result of Covid-19 outbreak has led to a dramatic improvement in the public perception of the police as an institution, the IANS-CVoter survey revealed on Sunday.

According to the IANS-CVoter tracking survey conducted across the country, in 2018, mere 29.9 per cent people expressed a “lot of trust” in police, but the percentage took a leap and stood at 69.9 per cent during the pandemic in 2020.

The nett trust factor for police zoomed up from merely 1.5 per cent to a massive 61.8 per cent at all national levels.

Ten years ago, CVoter had conducted a similar survey in which the police force ranked at the bottom in terms of trustworthiness, with politicians just a rank above them.

This dramatic change in trust shows improvement in the reputation of frontline warriors in the eye of the public amidst Covid-19 pandemic.

Correspondingly, the number of Indians who display a lack of trust in the police has fallen dramatically in the same time period.

In 2018, 28.4 per cent of respondents had divulged of having “no trust at all” in the police as an institution but by 2020, the percentage plummeted down to just 8.1 per cent.

The change is visible across all geographies, income and education levels as well as caste and ethnic identities. In 2018, 41.5 per cent of females expressed “a lot of trust” in the police. By 2020, it had improved to 67.7 per cent.

Over 71 per cent of the rural population has faith in police. In 2018, 31.4 per cent of Indians belonging to lower income groups expressed a lot of trust in the police; that improved to 67.5 per cent in 2020.

The maximum change in nett perception is observed in the North Zone at net jump of 73.4 per cent followed by South Zone at 65.2 per cent. The only state with worrisome numbers is West Bengal where police is taking a hit in public perception.

Interestingly, according to the survey, trustworthiness of police is going up with the age.

Meanwhile, in 2018, 89.5 per cent people had faith in the Armed Forces, but the percentage dropped down marginally to 89.2 per cent this year.